Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Chants of 'Hillary', but Aide Tells the Crowd to Go Home

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Chants of 'Hillary', but Aide Tells the Crowd to Go Home

Article excerpt


AT HILLARY CLINTON'S election party in the Javits Centre they were playing Don't Stop Believing, with crowds clapping and dancing. Clinton was due on a stage set for her victory a historic one for women in politics, the first female president. Her supporters were old, young, black, Asian, white. There was a signer for the deaf on stage. If you hadn't been here for the past five hours, you'd think she'd won.

"Hillary, Hillary," the crowds chanted but the perfectly groomed woman in the pantsuit did not appear. Instead, the person arriving on stage was her campaign manager John Podesta, who stated "every vote counts". He told an audience already stunned by the scale of Trump's gains that this election wasn't over. "There's nothing more to say tonight it is too close to call tonight. She's done an amazing job and she's not done yet."

It was difficult then to recall the jokes that peppered the beginning of the evening at the Javits Centre, a glass building overlooking the Hudson river in New York City.

"Oh look at all the rigging... for the lighting."

"Hey, it's a glass ceiling... she'll smash that."

As the initial results rolled in, campaigners reassured the nervous that those from the Democrat states and districts took longer to come. Pennsylvania produced whoops, Florida was ignored for as long as possible. Ohio produced a sucking of air between teeth.

An older photographer, Joan Roth, showed me her grainy photos of Betty Friedan and Kate Millett feminists from the Seventies. This wasn't just a one-off election: a class of women in New York had been waiting for this since the great drive in the Seventies for the Equal Rights Amendment that never came to pass. She couldn't believe it wasn't a clear victory, nor could she imagine defeat.

A campaigner recounted how she'd been down knocking on doors in the darker streets of Philadelphia, which were opened by crack addicts. Perhaps, with hindsight, visiting the farms around might have produced a better result. The party grew quieter as midnight approached, belief stretched into hope and then finally silence. …

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